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Xavier v. Alabama: Three Takeaways


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The first half was pretty touch and go, with Xavier shooting like garbage but doing just enough on defense to hold a three-point lead at the break. A barrage early in the second half keyed by Myles and Trevon buried the game as a contest before the under-12 timeout, and Xavier will be headed into the winners' bracket for the first time since the Stone Age.

#MVJP is back in stride

After a fairly mediocre showing against NKU - basically in keeping with everything that the team did on the whole - Macura was once again the bench spark plug Xavier needs today. With the rest of the team struggling to find its feet in the first half, JP had 11 of the team's 27 points and was the only guy who looked like he was locked in on the bucket. He was once again a big part of a winning effort for X.

Xavier still suffered from Thanksgiving malaise

This was a game lacking in crisp execution from both sides, but I really only care about Xavier's. Both teams pushed 20 turnovers by the time the game was over. Shooting, especially in the first half, was really, really bad. It looked like a couple of groups of guys who are used to playing in front of 10,000 at 7pm playing at noon in front of 250. The officiating also wasn't great.

Coach Mack is still working on the depth

Makinde London and Sean O'Mara surfaced in the first half. Kaiser Gates joined them for some serious minutes in the second as Xavier was pulling away. The Musketeers will play four games this week, and it's going to be incumbent on the bench depth to keep fresh legs under the starters. Getting those three guys in there and getting game actions makes the starters better tomorrow and helps them develop down the road.